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Aug-30-2011 14:37printcomments

High School Students Tell Sears and Land's End: End Sexual Abuse of Factory Workers

Students at high school near Sears headquarters demand response to campaign on Change.org; call for an end to sexual abuse at Sears factory in Jordan.

Jordan is investigating factory sex abuse
Jordan is investigating factory sex abuse. Photo: adaderana.lk

(CHICAGO) - A group of high school students from Chicago, Illinois are joining a popular campaign calling on some of the biggest brands in America - including Sears and Land’s End - to pull their orders from Classic Factory in Jordan, where managers have been accused of serially raping young female workers.

The students, who formed the Youth Labor Committee to collectively bring their demands to Sears, launched a petition on Change.org following allegations that Sears has been buying garments made at Classic Factory in Jordan, where dozens of workers have accused factory managers of sexual assault. They’re asking that Sears’ corporate executives meet with them and agree to increase transparency over where they source products from, and to stop working with suppliers with significant human rights violations.

“It is horrible that these women have no means of escape from these working conditions, and are even terrified to publicly discuss what is happening to them out of fear for their lives and the lives of their families,” said Dickie Schaefer, a high school student and Youth Labor Committee member.  “We are demanding that these corporations stand with us and demand the establishment of a safe and prosperous working environment, free from the terrors of rape, enslavement and captivity.”

The online petition campaign, coupled with the students’ plan to protest and leaflet outside Sears’ headquarters and local Sears and Land’s End stores, is likely to increase pressure on the companies to pull their orders from Classic Factory. In addition to Sears, ongoing campaigns are asking Target, Hanes, Macy’s and Walmart to pull their orders as well.

“These students’ organizing around such a complex issue has been remarkable,” said Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing at Change.org. “They’re using a combination of emerging technology and traditional organizing to spur Sears and Land’s End to action, and we are honored to provide a platform for their campaign.”

The campaign on Change.org has been covered by major news outlets around the world, including Ms. Magazine, Huffington Post, Jordan Times, and the Daily Mirror. Activists recently launched a companion campaign asking the famous Jordanian Queen Rania to tweet her support for the workers of Classic.

Live signature totals from the Jordan factory campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-walmart-to-stop-rape-and-torture-of-young-women-in-its-factories

Live signature totals from the high school students’ campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/sears-holdings-corporation-and-lands-end-tell-sears-to-stop-rape-and-torture-of-young-women

Ms. Magazine coverage of the campaign:
http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/08/12/another-jordanian-worker-making-u-s-clothes-alleges-factory-rapes/

Huffington Post coverage of the campaign:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/american-brands-abuses-factories-jordan-labor-conditions_n_903995.html




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